Need advice on Strat restoration

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by pn8830, Jun 23, 2021.

What would you do?

Poll closed Jul 7, 2021.
  1. She's beautiful as is, just fix the bridge

    12 vote(s)
    35.3%
  2. Refinish, she'll be like new with better bridge

    19 vote(s)
    55.9%
  3. Light relic. Do intentionally imperfect paint job

    3 vote(s)
    8.8%
  1. pn8830

    pn8830 Strat-Talker

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    That actually looks very good! As much as I don't like ornament patterns I have to give it thumbs up. Low contrast works very well in your case. What kind of pickguard do you plan to use?

    I have fun working on destroyed guitars, so the amount of work does not really bother me. Of course it's a trial and error but that just comes with the territory.
     
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  2. dirocyn

    dirocyn Most Honored Senior Member

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    If you're not having any problems with the string walking off the edge of the fretboard, you should be ok with a wider-spaced bridgeplate to match that size saddle. When you fill & redrill, the middle two holes should still be usable.

    Some dents in wood can be removed with steam. That one's pretty big, though. It is pretty likely it'll be less visible if you strip the body & sand a little. But I like the idea of a thin coat of paint over all this, and just let it wear through.
     
  3. Exhead

    Exhead Senior Stratmaster

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    I have a bunch but have not decided yet. i normally ask the wife opinion as well. Maybe I will post a poll here later. Thanks for the compliment o the project. Most like it, a few don't. Was trying something new, had to after the expensive (for me) Duplicolor Maui Blue Metallic spit dark specs out mid can, both cans did this, I think the day was too hot. I even used a ICANNMIXX tool to mix the cans before hand so it wasn't a mix issue in my eyes. I just adjusted to the issues.
     
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  4. pn8830

    pn8830 Strat-Talker

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    Exactly. I stripped a modern body before. These things can withstand a nuclear blast. It is absolutely impossible to get any reasonable amount of natural wear on them even if you play for decades.
    I know exactly what you mean.
     
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  5. Believer7713

    Believer7713 The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein Silver Member

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    If it were mine I would leave the bridge and get a set of saddles for it. I like narrow spacing though.
    The next thing I would do is look at all of the cars on the street and find a color on a curvy car that gets my juices flowing and have that color matched. Sand it down, fill it smooth then prime, spray and clear it. Reassemble the guitar with a whole new mojo to it.
    Don't worry about what it will do to tge resale just play the brown out of it. When you arenold and decrepit...pass it along to the next generation.
     
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  6. axejock

    axejock Senior Stratmaster Gold Supporting Member

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    Right on. Love your new Avatar by the way!!
     
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  7. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Dr. Stratster

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    THIS. At least as far as the saddles go. You can get a correct set for under $10 so why go to all the trouble of filling and drilling?

    Another option would be to just sand the whole body lightly to get it all smooth and lay a skin on it. There are some cool skin designs that would make it unique player and they're not very expensive. Take a little bit of patience to put one on right, but still much easier and faster than a complete refinish and/or paint.

    Not a recommendation as there are several good sites, but just an example to see the possibilities. https://skinyourskunk.com/
     
  8. pn8830

    pn8830 Strat-Talker

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    I want wide spacing. The second part sound pretty attractive though. Especially since I was not bothered with the resale value :). The next generation option has already been considered.
    Ok, this is where it gets a little irrational. I understand where you are coming from and I get it. I have the saddles, I have a whole new bridge with narrow spacing, that's not even a problem. Maybe I just take the walk suggested above and it will clear my head of that nonsense and I use that bridge. But that's just too simple ;), there is no fun or challenge.

    These skins though! Some of them look really nice even though generally I don't like busy designs. That is a game changer. People say relic-ing is overrated but these skins are the next level! Sometimes I think that CNC machines took all the magic out of guitar making, you don't need to be an artisan any more. This is a change of the same magnitude.
     
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  9. ross

    ross Strat-Talk Member

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    Lets see; it's a parts caster, the body is FUBAR, you like the string spacing and maybe the neck too. Sandblast and seal or Strip fill and paint, skin as mentioned, or get a new body. What would I do? I'd get a fiesta red body (choose your color) from ebay, or Allparts or Stratosphere, Reverb ect. put the right trem with a steel block on it, new strings new pickguard, polish the string groves off the saddles, check the frets, file off the fret sprout and level and dress as necessary. While I had it apart I would copper tape and ground the cavities or paint them with the grounding goo, do a nice setup, to include the nut, and play. If I didn't like the pickups, I would go to guitar fetish and get a vintage set. I might even upgrade the pots, switch and a treble bleed or just get a loaded pickguard from guitar fetish or several other places. Saving the old one for when you sell it.
    Edit: after thinking about it for a while I would just fill the holes and paint over it and do as much with the pickguard and pickups as you want, new bodies are too expensive for a parts caster.
     
    Last edited: Jun 23, 2021
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  10. Believer7713

    Believer7713 The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein Silver Member

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    Use 1/8" dowel rod to plug the screw holes. Bamboo kabob skewers work well too and are super cheap. Glue them into the holes and drill new hiles using your bridge plate as a guide. I recommend using a drill press to keep the holes going straight. You already know where your bridge will be as far as distance from the neck and you can eyeball it side to side using the cutout on the pickguard.
    It's a little time consuming but pretty straight forward.
     
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  11. pn8830

    pn8830 Strat-Talker

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    Yeah, I was contemplating getting a drill press many times. That would cure a lot of headaches. I guess I have commitment issues LOL. Thanks! Good discussion!
     
  12. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR I appreciate, therefore I am... Silver Member

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    Wow, that site has a lot of options!
     
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  13. Intune

    Intune Senior Stratmaster

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    I went through the trouble of filling in vintage bridge holes. It’s actually not that bad but really just get the proper saddles and leave as is for that part of it. The repair I did was to a fender custom shop body with vintage spacing. Someone thought it would be cool to put a import gold vintage type spacing. Oops. 62020F7C-AD91-4621-BCE2-4F59EC03DB63.jpeg 3C5E6CC7-AD22-4950-9689-E4C12FA210E0.jpeg CBD0D88F-5D21-4503-AA4D-4461FDD321CD.jpeg B549D165-3356-4830-8346-F744AEBD779C.jpeg
     
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  14. Wound_Up

    Wound_Up CUSTOM USER TITLE Silver Member

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    Firewood? Smfh. That guitar is perfectly usable and is in working condition as it sits. Firewood? That's just ridiculous. I'd sell if for $100 before I ever turned a guitar with a ONLY bad finish into firewood. That's just...wow. Calling it wasteful would be me being nice. How the heck do you equate a guitar that needs a refinish as being firewood?
     
  15. pn8830

    pn8830 Strat-Talker

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    Wow! I can't believe someone would actually do that to CS guitar.

    Thanks for sharing! Very informative!
     
  16. Intune

    Intune Senior Stratmaster

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    Yeah it blows my mind. I got the body with the gold tremolo for dirt cheap. Dowelled and installed a proper vintage accurate bridge. I never ended up using that body so I sold it.
     
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  17. nutball73

    nutball73 Senior Stratmaster

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    As with all the sensible folk above.

    1. Buy the new bridge (£25)
    2. Fill the existing holes with dowels (£5 max)
    3. Place the new bridge on the body to drill pilot holes (drill press nice but not essential)
    4. Rattle can prime, then colour, then laquer - £15.

    Guitar good as new for £45.
     
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  18. slowesthand

    slowesthand Senior Stratmaster

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    This.
     
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  19. Baelzebub

    Baelzebub Dr. Stratster

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    Yeah...there's another couple sites..one had a really good video on applying it. Basically a heatgun, some care and an exacto knife.
     
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  20. bluesguy62

    bluesguy62 Strat-Talk Member

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    This is what I would do if someone brought it into the shop. First, those saddles are definitely spaced too wide for the bridge. You'd have lots of problems if you tried to use the trem.

    Get a bridge that matches the spread of those lovely saddles. Plug the 6 old screw holes with wooden dowels. Sand flush. Carefully position the new bridge making sure you've got correct scale length, side to side and string/polepiece alignment. Secure the new bridge and drill your new screw holes.

    Now, the body. You could go ahead and fill all dents etc and prep the wood for a complete refinish.

    Or you could sand the body down to bare wood and see what you have. The filler you put in earlier can always be removed.

    The body will probably be three or more pieces of alder glued together, with the glue lines clearly visible. If you're ok with that, you could proceed with a natural finish.

    As for the gouge, you could find a matching piece of wood to fill the void. As the repair will be highly visible, you could go for a dark natural finish such as walnut. Best of luck :)
     
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